The story appears on

Page A7

November 4, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

Medicine key seen under sea

CHINESE scientists said yesterday that an ongoing undersea probe of a sulfide deposit could help produce new medicines through the study of submarine hydrothermal organisms.

China's home-made underwater robot "Hailong 2" seized 7 kilograms of sulfide in a deep-sea hydrothermal "chimney" 2,700 meters below the sea's surface, near the equator in the eastern Pacific on October 23.

The sulfide may contain deep-sea microbes that scientists widely regard as the planet's original life forms.

Ma Weilin, a chief scientist on the Dayang 1 Scientific Investigation Ship, said the organisms, which live in an extremely high-pressure environment suffused with poisonous sulfide, could hold clues to developing gene-based medicines.

Hydrothermal solution is produced by hot magma emanations in deep water, around which many organisms survive by chemical combination.

"The hydrothermal organisms have the potential to help the development of new anti-toxin drugs," said Wang Chunsheng, marine ecologist of the Institute of Oceanography under the State Oceanic Administration.

Their deep-sea environment is strikingly similar to the very early stages of the Earth, Wang said.

The project also includes the mapping of undersea mineral resources.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend